Top 5 Facts You Should Know About Veterans Burial Benefits
Suppose you or a loved one served on active duty or in certain reserve branches of the US Armed forces. In that case, you might be eligible for a Veteran’s Administration (VA) burial allowance and other benefits for your service to our country.
According to Dorsey Thomas, Location Manager of National Cremation Service’s Atlanta office:
“The first question I always get asked is, ‘What are VA benefits?’ So many times, veterans and their families are completely unaware of these benefits until the death has already occurred.”
VA benefits are available to most previous service members. The service member must have been discharged from active military service without dishonorable conditions. Several VA benefits are available, including assistance with burial or cremation costs and the ability to be interred in a National Cemetery.
The top five questions National Cremation is commonly asked about these VA burial benefits include:
1. What is the VA Burial Allowance?
The VA burial allowance is a flat rate monetary benefit that the VA pays to reimburse families for an eligible Veteran’s burial, cremation, funeral, or memorial costs.
2. What is the Monetary Amount of the Benefit?
It depends on whether the service member passed away due to their active duty service and when the service member passed.
For non-service related deaths occurring after September 11, 2001:
- The maximum burial allowance ranges from $300 for veterans who were not hospitalized in a VA facility at the time of death to $796 for those hospitalized with the VA at the time of death.
For service-connected deaths that occurred before September 11, 2001:
- The maximum allowance is $1,500 and $2,000 for deaths occurring after that date.
Veterans who will not be interred in a National Cemetery or columbarium are also eligible for an additional $796 benefit for the interment.
3. How Do My Loved Ones or I Claim the Benefit?
To claim the benefit, a veteran’s family need only submit VA Form 21-530, Application for Burial Allowance, along with the death certificate and DD-214 for the deceased veteran. Receipts showing payment of funeral costs do not need to be provided. The allowance is paid as a reimbursement to the veteran’s next of kin for valid burial or funeral costs – cremation and memorial with National Cremation are considered valid and reimbursable for this benefit.
4. Does the VA Provide Funerals with Military Honors?
The VA does not provide funerals with military honors. These are provided by the Department of Defense (DOD) through the “Honoring Those Who Served” program.
Families may request or ask National Cremation to request a military funeral honors ceremony on the family’s behalf, including a ceremony with two or more service members, folding and presentation of a United States burial flag, and the playing of Taps. These ceremonies can be performed in any private, veterans’, or National Cemetery.
5. Can Veterans be Cremated and Interred in a National Cemetery?
Yes. To be cremated and interred in a National Cemetery, there are multiple options. For example, cremated remains may be interred in an in-ground gravesite, in a garden niche, or in a columbarium, where available.
If you would like to learn more about VA funeral and cremation benefits, click here.
National Cremation is the nation’s oldest and largest provider of simple and affordable cremation services. Whether you have an immediate need or want to plan your cremation services in advance, we’re always available to assist you and your family. Contact us online or call (855)-469-9474 today.